Anyone dabble in poetry? Although I began writing a bit of verse last spring, I have rarely worked up the nerve to show the results to anyone. I guess I am wondering if anyone would be interested in a creative exchange of constructive criticism. Post your pieces if so! I'm too chicken to post the first one, even though I made the topic. Whoops. ;)

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I also like "Diaspora" best. I think it, as Richard Paez has pointed out, resonates with a lot of people who are a part of, or come from, a diasporic community. I, being of Russian Mennonite heritage, though no longer belonging to, or having any real connection with, the Russian Mennonite community (Old Colony or Evangelical), come from a cultural/ethnic/religious group that has migrated from somewhere in Prussia, through Poland, Russia/Ukraine, to Western Canada and Mexico.

While I am glad to have escaped the confines of Mennonite culture, especially because it is so inextricably tied to its brand of ur-Protestant Christianity (original anabaptist), I do sometimes miss having a homeland. I try still to maintain Plautdietsch, the ancient Old Saxon/Low German language the Mennonites continue to carry with them wherever they go.

Though my veins are not mongrel, my emotional/intellectual/cultural being is. And I'm in an interracial/inter-cultural/inter-linguistic/formerly inter-religious marriage (we are both atheists now--I having been Christian, she Muslim). The lack of clarity and absence of 'memories sustaining wisdom of ruptured ancestral chain' is sometimes felt and also resonates with me.

For me also, and I suspect for many 'mongrels' or hybrids, there is 'no evident course ahead' based on an ancient course. There is a sense of being uprooted. My pseudonym expresses this. I'll leave that to you all to figure out on your own.

On a technical note, I'd say the first line of your final stanza would scan better if the 'of' were left out -- 'Forward myriad alternates/Risen from past multitudes'. The 'of' seems to interrupt the flow.

Thanks for sharing the poem, Shine.
I interpreted "mongrel" to imply not just a genetic mixing in the past but all forms of mixing -- genetic, cultural, etc -- in the present and future.
Thank you! :) I am really appreciative of all the encouragement that I have found here; I am getting closer to submitting some work to my school's lit magazine. :D
I'm quite fond of Atonement. I keep re-reading it, and will likely continue to.

It's very, I'd say, brave. It's simple, earnest iambs, which is not at all "trendy" or "po-mo" or any other nonsense. Were I still editing a (college) poetry annual, I'd consider it for publication. Thank you.
Thanks! I have to expose my ignorance...what does "po-mo" mean?
It's a snarky reference to "post-modernism".

I'd love to hear your thoughts on mine!
My reply is after your poem. :) (And more questions, too, lol!)
I'm sorry, I don't see it.
Crap! Sorry, it was a phantom post; I replied to it, hopefully it should show up now.
Hello, Shine. I would be very interested in reading your poem"Diaspora" that others have commenented on. I don't see it on your blog, so i'm assuming you e-mailed it to them...? I would love that. I am also of Russian Mennonite background. Thank you!! Carol Johnson
Carol, It's posted further up on this discussion thread.

I'm glad to know it's not just me who has problems following these threads. Things seem to pop in and out of existence/get ordered oddly.
Thank you. I found it. Shine, I appreciate the way the last stanza of "Diaspora" seems to (at least in my reading of it - if it's not your intention, perhaps this is indicative of talent in that you allow your readers to bring themselves into your poem) shift the focus from the LOSS of diaspora to the OPPORTUNITIES of diaspora. Seems to me this is parallel to the way we, as non-religionists, see ourselves as compared to how religionists see us...I mean, they lament our loss of faith, whereas we look forward to the opportunities that open up after we are free of it and move on. I try to look beyond loss in diaspora to opportunity so as to at least allow for more balance in discussion so that it's more than the binary of "here or there", "bad or good". I really like your poem; the last stanza resonated with me. Thank you for putting it up here! Carol

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